Palace: Up to MTRCB to ban 'Abominable' over China's map
Vietnamese theaters have pulled out DreamWorks animated film "Abominable" after viewers noticed scenes featuring China's invalidated nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.
YouTube screengrab/DreamWorksTV
Palace: Up to MTRCB to ban 'Abominable' over China's map
Franco Luna ( - October 15, 2019 - 4:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board has the discretion on whether or not to ban animated film "Abominable" for showing a map of China that includes the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said Tuesday.

,A joint production of Dreamworks and Chinese-owned Pearl Studio, the animated film drew flak due to a scene displaying China’s “nine-dash line.” 

Vietnam, which has a competing claim in the South China Sea ordered the film pulled from theaters on Mondays, after its release in the country. 

“Depende siguro yan sa MTRCB kung ano ang assessment nila,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. MTRCB is under the Office of the President.

(That will probably depend on MTRCB, whatever their assessment may be.)

Asked if the depiction of the line in the movie was “abominable,” Panelo said, “I will leave that to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. I’ll defer to him.”

The nine-dash line—also sometimes called the 10-dash line or 11-dash line—refers to the undefined, unilaterally-imposed demarcation line that China uses to justify its claim over a large part of the South China Sea. The line has included Taiwan since 2013.

At the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Philippines contended that the nine-dash line exceeds the limits of maritime entitlements stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The court in its 2016 arbitral ruling said the nine-dash line has no basis in international law.

Beijing refused to acknowledge the Hague ruling—it did not participate in the arbitration case—despite President Rodrigo Duterte's position that the ruling was “final, binding and not subject to appeal.”

"President Xi reiterated his government’s position of not recognizing the arbitral ruling as well as not budging from its position," Panelo said on August 30 while Duterte was in China for an official visit.

The animated film opened in Philippine theaters on October 2.

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